I HEAR MY SISTERS SAYING: Poems by Twentieth-Century Women by Carol & Dorothy Walters--Eds. Konek

I HEAR MY SISTERS SAYING: Poems by Twentieth-Century Women

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This narrowly conceived collection contradicts its subtitle by ignoring most of the 20th-century. Older poets--Amy Lowell, H. D., Marianne Moore--as well as many exciting younger ones such as Ai, Marilyn Hacker, and Louise Gluck have been omitted; instead, the authors surround some seminal statements from the Fifties and Sixties (Sylvia Plath as ""The Bee Keeper's Daughter,"" Anne Sexton on ""The Abortion,"" Adrienne Rich on ""Sisters"") with a large cross section of competent but redundant amplifications. Helen Chasin, June Jordan, Maxine Kumin, Colette Inez., and other individual contributors will be of interest to the suggested audience of women's study groups, but the format--large dollops of uneven, stylistically unrelated poetry arranged by theme--has the unfortunate effect of replicating the situation Joyce Carol Oates bemoans here: ""These women have no language and so they chatter in the rhythm of stereotype."" Since the territory has already been staked out--notably by Bass and Howe in No More Masks! (1973)--the editors could have been a good deal more adventurous, and had they not always opted for poems immediately recognizable as ""both a protest and an affirmation"" they would have done more justice to their theme. . . as it is, they nearly do it to death.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1976
Publisher: T. Y. Crower